By 90Min
September 11, 2018

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has confirmed that he has asked UEFA for permission for the club to play their Champions League home games this season in Bari as a result of ongoing problems with the condition of Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli's home stadium does not meet UEFA's standard for the Champions League and visitors Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade are instead faced with playing the Serie A club at Bari's 58,000 capacity Stadio San Nicola, a 177 mile drive away on the opposite coast.

Eamonn M. McCormack/GettyImages

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, De Laurentiis confirmed, "I have asked UEFA to authorise Champions League matches in Bari," while declaring his intention to build a brand new stadium.

"For me, it is a nightmare," he said. Such a stadium stops the club from being able to upgrade at an international level. It's a shame. For this reason, I say enough: I do not want more controversy so I will build my own stadium, and that is that. We cannot go on like this anymore."

De Laurentiis expects that a new stadium can be completed within two years, mainly because he plans not to use any outside investment to fund the project, cutting out potential problems.

"Two years," he said. "Nobody can tell you anything if you put in your money and you have the land that can be used to build on. If these conditions are in place it can happen very quickly."

Napoli's first Champions League 'home' game of the season is against Liverpool on 3rd October, with the Liverpool Echo pointing out that many Reds fans have already arranged travel for the game and are now faced with the task of altering their plans to account for the planned change.

Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Bari are currently playing in Serie D after financial meltdown saw them reform as a 'phoenix club' during the summer. De Laurentiis was actually the man behind the reform and now owns the team, with the film mogul having previously done the same for Napoli back in 2004.

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